Cutting a Plug Like a Pro
So you've found a buried metal target with your metal detector. You've pinpointed the exact location of your buried treasure and you are ready to dig it up! The only problem is you're in a nice park or yard with turf that rivals that of some of the most prestigious golf courses from around the world.
How do you get your treasure without trashing the turf? Buckle up buttercup, we are about to show you how to cut a plug like a pro!
Let's start by removing the word "dig" from your metal detecting vocabulary. This 3-letter word is like a 4-letter word to most property owners. Let's use "cut" instead and like a surgeon we will make precision cuts or incisions to recover our treasure, all the while causing little, to no damage to the property owners turf.
First, know exactly where the buried target is located. Mark the location with your finger, wood golf tee or just make a mental note of its location.
Start cutting a horseshoe shaped incision around the buried treasure. Make sure your cut goes deeper than the root system, so you don't damage the turfs ability to feed and take hold. As illustrated by the rectangle in the graphic below, we will not be cutting the turf at the rear of our horseshoe incision. This uncut section will act as a hinge, allowing us to perfectly replace the plug once we've retrieved our treasure.
A buried object such as a coin, gold and silver jewelry or even relics can be hard to see inside a hole. Sometimes they are hiding just an inch or so in the sidewall of your hole or perhaps just an inch or two deeper and it can be very frustrating find the object. This is where a pinpointer comes in handy to quickly and effortlessly locate lost treasure inside the plug.
Now that your treasure is safely in your pocket or better yet your treasure finds pouch, it's time to seal the deal and fill in that hole. This will keep the property owner happy and just as importantly hide any clues to other treasure hunters that you've found buried treasure about.
While you are retrieving your treasure, take care to keep excess dirt inside the hole you've dug, or excuse me cut. Some metal detectorist use a small facecloth or rag to pile their excess dirt on top of, making it easy to dump the dirt back in the hole.
We've got all the dirt back in the hole, now flip the plug back in place by using the uncut portion as a hinge. Now, all you have to do is tap down with your hands or lightly with your foot. A quick sweep across the top of the grass (like combing its hair) will hide any sign of you ever having been there. And that is the goal. No one, not even yourself should be able to tell you have been there.
You won't always be able to cut a perfect plug, but if you always try to cut a perfect plug you will almost always be allowed to come back and metal detect that property time and time again.
For more information on digging a perfect plug, see this video from our sister company Bounty Hunter Metal Detectors